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The Stax Story

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10/17/2000

Review

The legendary Memphis soul label Stax's legacy is well-represented by this four-CD box set, which manages to do what many similar box retrospectives don't. That is to provide a well-balanced overview of a genre of music that mixes the essential hits with many noteworthy yet lesser-known singles and rarities, coming about as close as possible to pleasing both the collector and the less intense soul fan. The first disc alone, subtitled "The Hits," takes care of the majority of the consensus classics most listeners would demand from such a box, including hits by Carla Thomas, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & the MGs, Rufus Thomas, Albert King, and Johnnie Taylor. Disc two and disc three chronologically survey lower-profile chart hits and flops, taking in additional material by all of the stars, as well as great songs that have escaped the net of oldies radio: William Bell's "You Don't Miss Your Water," Albert King's "Crosscut Saw," Mable John's "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)." Disc four is entirely devoted to live recordings, most by the company's biggest acts, that sometimes give a rawer sense of the performers' charisma than was evident on their studio efforts. Some pretty minor reservations might keep this box from getting awarded the highest possible score: some of the non-hit cuts aren't that exciting (particularly from the label's later years), the track annotation doesn't make it clear whether some of the live cuts were previously unreleased in any form, Booker T. & the MGs' "Hang 'Em High" is represented by a live 1993 reunion recording rather than the original hit single, and some good mid-level hits by the biggest Stax acts aren't here. Still, it's a very worthy summation of the label's highlights, augmented by detailed liner notes. ~ Richie Unterberger
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Gee Whiz! (Look at His Eyes) Carla Thomas 2:18
  3. 2 Last Night The Mar-Keys 2:36
  4. 3 Green Onions Booker T. & the MG's 2:52
  5. 4 Walking the Dog Rufus Thomas 2:30
  6. 5 Respect Otis Redding 2:6
  7. 6 Hold On! I'm Comin' Sam & Dave 2:26
  8. 7 B-A-B-Y Carla Thomas 2:51
  9. 8 Knock on Wood Eddie Floyd 3:0
  10. 9 Soul Finger Bar-Kays 2:18
  11. 10 Tramp Otis & Carla 2:58
  12. 11 Born Under a Bad Sign Albert King 2:45
  13. 12 Soul Man Sam & Dave 2:36
  14. 13 (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay Otis Redding 2:36
  15. 14 Private Number William Bell 2:37
  16. 15 Who's Making Love? Johnnie Taylor 2:46
  17. 16 Time Is Tight Booker T. & the MG's 3:14
  18. 17 Do the Funky Chicken Rufus Thomas 3:14
  19. 18 Mr. Big Stuff Jean Knight 2:30
  20. 19 Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get The Dramatics 3:32
  21. 20 Respect Yourself The Staple Singers 3:29
  22. 21 Theme from Shaft Isaac Hayes 3:14
  23. 22 I've Been Lonely for So Long Frederick Knight 3:17
  24. 23 I'll Take You There The Staple Singers 3:10
  25. 24 Starting All over Again Mel & Tim 3:25
  26. 25 I'll Be the Other Woman The Soul Children 3:31
  27. 26 Woman to Woman Shirley Brown 3:53
  28. 1 Cause I Love You Carla Thomas 2:42
  29. 2 You Don't Miss Your Water William Bell 2:58
  30. 3 These Arms Of Mine Otis Redding 2:29
  31. 4 Can Your Monkey Do the Dog Rufus Thomas 2:25
  32. 5 Big Party Barbara & the Browns 2:39
  33. 6 Jump Back Rufus Thomas 2:18
  34. 7 Mr. Pitiful Otis Redding 2:39
  35. 8 Can't See You When I Want To David Porter 2:50
  36. 9 Boot-Leg Booker T. & the MG's 2:3
  37. 10 I've Been Loving You Too Long Otis Redding 2:51
  38. 11 Candy The Astors 2:59
  39. 12 I Want Someone The Mad Lads 2:39
  40. 13 Philly Dog The Mar-Keys 2:12
  41. 14 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction Otis Redding 2:42
  42. 15 Things Get Better Eddie Floyd 2:20
  43. 16 Let Me Be Good to You Carla Thomas 2:40
  44. 17 I'll Run Your Hurt Away Ruby Johnson 3:6
  45. 18 You Good Thing (Is About To End) Mable John 2:55
  46. 19 Patch My Heart The Mad Lads 2:29
  47. 20 Crosscut Saw Albert King 2:32
  48. 21 I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down Sam & Dave 2:39
  49. 22 Groovin' Booker T. & the MG's 2:41
  50. 23 Give Everybody Some Bar-Kays 2:21
  51. 24 Cold Feet Albert King 2:44
  52. 25 I Thank You Sam & Dave 2:43
  53. 26 I Got a Sure Thing Ollie & the Nightingales 2:34
  54. 27 Big Bird Eddie Floyd 2:57
  55. 28 A Tribute to a King William Bell 2:50
  56. 29 I Ain't Particular Johnnie Taylor 2:25
  57. 1 Soul Limbo Booker T. & the MG's 2:21
  58. 2 I've Never Found a Girl (To Love Me Like You Do) Eddie Floyd 2:42
  59. 3 What A Man Linda Lyndell 2:39
  60. 4 I Like Everything About You Jimmy Hughes 2:47
  61. 5 I Forgot to Be Your Lover William Bell 2:17
  62. 6 I Like What You're Doing (To Me) Carla Thomas 2:53
  63. 7 So I Can Love You The Emotions 2:48
  64. 8 Walk on By [Cover] Isaac Hayes 4:31
  65. 9 Black Boy Roebuck "Pops" Staples 3:20
  66. 10 I Have Learned to Do Without You Mavis Staples 4:4
  67. 11 Play The Music Toronados T.S.U. Toronados 2:30
  68. 12 Never Can Say Goodbye [Cover] Isaac Hayes 3:35
  69. 13 The Breakdown, Pt. 1 Rufus Thomas 3:12
  70. 14 Son Of Shaft Bar-Kays 3:9
  71. 15 That's What Love Will Make You Do Little Milton 3:52
  72. 16 In the Rain The Dramatics 3:22
  73. 17 Hearsay The Soul Children 3:27
  74. 18 Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) Isaac Hayes 4:21
  75. 19 Dedicated To The One I Love The Temprees 3:31
  76. 20 Breaking Up Somebody's Home Albert King 3:37
  77. 21 I Believe in You (You Believe in Me) Johnnie Taylor 4:28
  78. 22 Short Stoppong Veda Brown 2:19
  79. 23 Cheaper to Keep Her Johnnie Taylor 3:24
  80. 24 If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) The Staple Singers 3:18
  81. 1 Green Onions Booker T. & the MG's 4:13
  82. 2 Raise Your Hand Eddie Floyd 3:45
  83. 3 Something Good (Is Going to Happen to You) Carla Thomas 4:14
  84. 4 Grab This Thing, Pt. 1 The Mar-Keys 2:28
  85. 5 The Dog Rufus Thomas 2:54
  86. 6 You Don't Miss Your Water William Bell 3:46
  87. 7 Soothe Me Sam & Dave 2:55
  88. 8 You Don't Know Like I Know Sam & Dave 3:43
  89. 9 Shake Otis Redding 2:30
  90. 10 Try a Little Tenderness Otis Redding 6:50
  91. 11 Oh la de Da The Staple Singers 3:31
  92. 12 (Do The) Push And Pull, Pt. 1 Rufus Thomas 5:15
  93. 13 Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone Johnnie Taylor 5:43
  94. 14 Killing Floor Albert King 3:47
  95. 15 Blues Power Albert King 3:8
  96. 16 Show Me How The Emotions 3:47
  97. 17 Hang 'Em High Booker T. & the MG's 3:53
  98. 18 Theme from Shaft Isaac Hayes 4:45
  99. 19 Theme from The Men Isaac Hayes 3:46

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